WEST LOGAN — Members of the West Logan Town Council discussed recent complaints about overgrown weeds and other eyesores that have made this spring less pleasing than normal during the June 9 meeting.
Several properties in the lower end of First Avenue had begun getting overgrown with weeds and residents have complained about that as well as an automobile that has sat unmoved for so many years it has weeds growing up in it and the front wheels appear to have been stolen.
Ward said the property owners had been contacted about the matter and that some had stepped up and had their properties taken care of in terms of cleaning up and having yard work done. Others have remained unchanged.
Chief Ward, Mayor Darren Akers and Town Attorney Sabrina Deskins looked up town ordinances on the matter and found that those violating them could be issued a misdemeanor citation over $200 for non-compliance.
Ward said one particular property owner had been contacted multiple times to no avail so the town hired somebody to cut the weeds on the property and that the property owner can either pay the bill or pay a fine. It was noted in the meeting that any fines need to be enough to cover any cleanup costs.
“I have never seen a spring as bad as this one for overgrown weeds,” Mayor Akers admitted.
Akers thanked Chief Ward who has handled contacting residents about the problematic properties and getting several of them to comply with town ordinances about the matter by cleaning up their property.
Tim Granger said one of the problem properties has an outbuilding that has an old mattress that has been sitting in it for years. One resident joked if the mattress ever caught fire a cloud of bedbugs would erupt from it like a scene from the Cecil B. DeMille movie, “The Ten Commandments.”
Chief Ward said he received an irate phone call from one property owner about the abandoned automobile and weeds on her property. Ward said he did not understand why the lady was so angry at him and pointed out she had several years to have the car — which is non-functioning after sitting unstarted and unmoved for so many years — towed away.
One resident of the town pointed out he understood how some people could be upset because they paid thousands of dollars for a car when it was new and then have a hard time accepting that over time its only value has become scrap metal, but pointed out, “that’s life.”
The mayor and some of the councilmembers said they knew the woman personally and knew her to be a decent and good person with a great deal of responsibilities and challenges to deal with at this time and said they would give her some more time to take care of the problem.
Mayor Akers said letters to residents who are in possible violation will be mailed out asking them to comply with town ordinances and cut the weeds and take care of their property. Akers said the town does not want to issue citations and would rather that the property owners (many of whom are absentee) clean up their holdings.
In other West Logan news:
• The minutes from May and the financial statements from May were approved. City Clerk Mark Mareske said the only thing out of the ordinary was the town’s required printing of its budget. The payment of $5,000 in bills was approved. Mareske said the Board of Risk Management quarterly premiums had gone up from $1,800 to $2,300 per term.
• Mareske said the town had a good year at the end of the fiscal year, noting that Business and Occupation Taxes, and city sanitation fees were up while a property tax check had come in as well as a check for $6,500 from the Logan County Commission for the Police and Fire levy.
“We are doing okay,” noted West Logan Mayor Darren Akers, who said he and others had worried the town would be hard hit by the loss of its biggest taxpayer B&M repair which had moved to a larger facility last year. Akers said the old facility will not remain closed long as a new business, Southern Elite Cheerleading has moved in.
• The city’s sanitation truck is in the shop for repairs.
• Two new traffic mirrors have come in for installation at Hicks Hollow and 3rd Avenue.